Monday, December 21, 2020

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf - summary part 2

 Wolf argues that in the 20th century, with the development of media and technology, the myth of beauty has become monstrous - when it was part of the mid-19th century with the publication of the first modeling photos. Now, in order to make as much money as possible for advertisers, the industry continues to give meaning within the concept of beauty as if one should always strive for it and consume it- beauty, then, in the 20th century became a consumer whim that defines personality.

Once the definition of what is female excellence at the level of housework and belonging to the husband could no longer be contained, female excellence began to be defined by beauty. Again, advertisers invent a new market and then convince it by intimidation and hedging that it needs something - and so women become consumers of beauty as a pursuit of excellence.

According to Wolf, the power of the "beauty myth" is evident in its invisible boundaries, and in the fact that most of its social leaders are faceless. Social messages are conveyed to women in the process of socialization and create a collective consciousness through various cultural agents. These transformations are led by a power of the masses that cannot be challenged or resisted, just as women in society are forced to behave according to the dictates of the "beauty myth".

Moreover, today there is a parallel between beauty, not only as consumerism but also as economic success. If someone is beautiful - she is also rich "looks like a million dollars". Because of this beauty has helped many women succeed in advancing in the work circle that still remains patriarchal regardless of their true abilities. This myth understood by male industrial society is built on fear that women are already a majority that can endanger and should be limited in a new way - and unfortunately for Wolf, they succeed. Not only does the woman today have to bear the burden of working outside the home, she is still defined as one who must also bear the burden of the housework and still, preserve her beauty - therefore, this renewed gendering of beauty as a sign of success is doubly destructive.

According to Wolf the phenomenon of "professional beauty skills" developed at the same time as woman's liberation and it means that a woman's sexuality will make her work look ridiculous. The concept of women's work in terms of beauty index has been widely adopted, and has become the archetype of working women wherever they are.

And all this was written by Wolf before Instagram!

Criticism of The Beauty Myth